Social Media

Wikipedia: Promise and pitfalls

How should the project approach students’ widespread use of Wikipedia as a research tool?

How should the project approach students’ widespread use of Wikipedia as a research tool? Should we encourage them to employ it as a living, interactive alternative to the conventional encyclopedia―an information source that engages and empowers users with a sense of ownership? At the same time, should we caution that it has lower standards of verification and expertise and is a constant work-in-progress that should be used judiciously? What exercises or examples should we use to improve students’ understanding of Wikipedia? What are the best available reports about Wikipedia, reflecting both its promise and its pitfalls? One such report was published in the American Journalism Review in its February/March 2008 issue: “Wikipedia in the Newsroom”.